Demand for ‘Dear White People’, ‘When They See Us’ Spike During Protests, Parrot Says

As protests against police brutality and racial discrimination, triggered by the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer, sweep across the United States and around the world, Parrot Analytics has found skyrocketing audience demand for Netflix’s “Dear White People” and “When They See Us.”

Demand in the United States for “Dear White People” during the week ended June 2 rose 329% from the prior  week, while demand for “When They See Us” was up 147%.

“During a week of pain and protest, these series are finding a resurgence of demand,” said Ashley Alleyne-Morris, Parrot Analytics partner insights director. “Whether it’s a satirical look at dealing with discrimination at majority white spaces (universities) or a true story about the miscarriage of justice faced by the Central Park Five, new audiences appear to be turning to these stories as a form of education and understanding of the Black experience in America.”

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“When They See Us” debuted on May 31, 2019, and “Dear White People” released its most recent season in August 2019.

“Dear White People” is a satirical look at the lives of a group of black students at a fictional Ivy League university, with a mostly white student body, in the aftermath of a party where white students wear blackface. For the week of May 27 to June 2 it was 5.6 times more in demand than the average TV show in the United States.

“When They See Us” is a miniseries about the notorious case of the Central Park Five, a group of black and Hispanic teenagers who were falsely accused and convicted of the assault and rape of a white woman in 1989. Their convictions weren’t vacated until 2002. During the week of May 27 to June 2, it was 20.5 times more in-demand than the average TV show in the U.S.

Parrot Analytics measures demand for TV content in a given market through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.

YouTube Red Hits Top of Digital Originals Chart with ‘Cobra Kai’

YouTube Red took the top spot on the digital originals chart the week ended May 12 with “Cobra Kai,” according to Parrot Analytics Demand Expressions data.

“Cobra Kai,” a sequel series to the classic The Karate Kid movie, shot up to No. 1 with a whopping 154% increase in demand from the prior week, when it debuted in the top 10 at No. 6.

Demand for “Cobra Kai” was so great that it also popped up at No. 5 on the overall TV shows chart – ahead of even “The Game of Thrones.”

The comedy-drama series was produced by Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg – the duo best known for the Harold & Kumar films. In the week ending May 12, “Cobra Kai” had 46.9 million Demand Expressions, up from 18.4 million Demand Expressions the prior week.

YouTube Red’s 10-episode first season of “Cobra Kai” debuted on May 2. On May 10, YouTube revealed that it was renewing the show for a second season.

The series relies heavily on nostalgia, blending in new characters with William Zabka and Ralph Macchio, holdovers from the original 1984 The Karate Kid movie. The series picks up 30 years after the events of the original film. Like the first, the second season will contain 10 30-minute episodes, and will debut on YouTube Red sometime in 2019. The first episode of “Cobra Kai” had 11 million views, three days after it premiered – and by May 14, it had racked up over 26 million views.

Elsewhere on the chart, Netflix titles also performed well. “13 Reasons Why,” No. 1 the previous week, continued to gain in demand, with a 43.4% spike to 40.2 million Demand Expressions on the back of the May 8 release of season two’s full-length trailer. But given the over-the-top performance of “Cobra Kai,” “13 Reasons” slipped to No. 2 on the digital originals chart.

Both “Arrested Development” (No. 3) and “Dear White People” (No. 6) posted impressive gains in demand as well, jumping up the chart by seven and 19 spots, respectively, over the last week. In both cases, new episodes are coming in May.

Demand for “The Handmaid’s Tale” has been remarkably steady been steady, with the dystopian series slipping to No. 4 from No. 3 the prior week despite a modest 5.7% gain in demand, week over week.

Media Play News has teamed with Parrot Analytics to provide readers with a weekly top 10 of the most popular digital original TV series in the United States. Parrot Analytics uses a proprietary metric called Demand Expressions, which measures global demand for TV content through a wide variety of data sources, including video streaming, social media activity, photo sharing, blogging, commenting on fan and critic rating platforms, and downloading and streaming via peer-to-peer protocols and file sharing sites.